A light drizzle did not deter the unveiling of an eco-brick bench at Noordhoek Beach car park on Friday April 7.
The beachside bench, an initiative by Project Noordhoeked, was sponsored by Noordhoek resident Andreas Loy, in memory of his uncle Hermann Kreitmeir, who died in January.
Mr Loy learned of his uncle’s death while watching the sunset at Noordhoek beach with his wife, Larissa. As a tribute to his uncle, he wanted to place a bench there.
“A bench at the beach was fitting since my uncle, who lived in Germany, loved the ocean. In 1976, he finished second in the World Windsurfing Championships, and later opened a surf school,” Mr Loy explained.
“He lived life to the fullest and enjoyed his life. This bench is a dedication to him,” he said.
Mr Loy, who moved from Germany to Noordhoek with his wife last March, loved the idea of the eco-brick benches.
This is the third bench Mr Loy has sponsored; the other two were erected in Scarborough in memory of his grandfather and grandmother, Cornelius and Traudel Kreitmeir.
“The process of how these benches are made and the fact that it creates jobs is simply amazing,” he said.
An eco-brick, according to Karoline Hanks, an environmentalist and member of the Project Noordhoeked team, is a two-litre plastic bottle packed with used plastic to set density to create a reusable building block.
The plastics, which are non-recyclable, would otherwise end up in the environment. The tightly stuffed bottle is used to build the foundation of the benches.
“We build a wire cage, fill that with the bricks, layer by layer, and then cement it,” explained Ms Hanks.
She praised the four-man team responsible for erecting the benches – Edgar Phiri, William Chirwa, David Mohale, and Jacob Mohale.
“They are such a fantastic team of guys who are so skilled,” she said, adding that this is the seventh bench they’ve built around Noordhoek.
“These benches are representative of community involvement in the sequestering of plastic and beautifying the area’s landscape,” Ms Hanks said.
Project Noordhoeked, a non-profit community project run by volunteers and residents, relies solely on donations to do its work, including cleaning roadsides, removing litter and ocean plastic from the beach and creating awareness about single-use plastic.
For details on how you can get involved in supporting Project Noordhoeked, contact Karoline Hanks at 083 745 3060 or email firstname.lastname@example.org